For quite a while I’ve squirmed when people I meet ask me what I do. For one, I don’t like being put into a box of antiquity. References to church work can often meet with sweet nods of paternalistic approval. Second, people just don’t get it.
I’ve finally figured out what to say to people, and it seems to work. When they ask me what I do, I say,
“I’ll only tell you that if you’ll first let me tell you why I do it.”
They usually bite on that, so I say two things. I say,
“No one gets the life they planned to get. Something always goes wrong, and sooner or later they’ll have a crisis of hope for this world.”
People nod at that, because I’m telling the story of THEIR lives.
“Second, no one behaves the way they thought they would. And that brings them a crisis of hope for the life to come.”
By this time I get more head nods.
“So, I work with a mob of people who bring hope for the here and the hereafter by starting relevant communities of faith. We use a biblical term. It’s called ‘church planting’.”
And then I tell the stories—of little inner city boys being mentored to read, and of families being baptized the day before dad goes off to prison. All those stories we have front row seats to see every day.
I like to tell people what I do. And I like to tell them of my big dreams: starting churches of influence in every county in the US; nudging our movement along so we are starting one new church or multi-site for every day of the year. Imagine that. Every day we wake up we say, “By God’s grace we did it again!”
TE Lawrence (a.ka. Lawrence of Arabia) said this:
“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.”
I’m proud to be associated with a mob of people who dream with their eyes wide open, bringing hope to countless lives the for the here and the hereafter. I love working with you, the dreamers of the day.